January on Flathead Lake

Winter fishing on Flathead lake continues to be good. We can launch at West Shore State Park. We are fishing in 80-160 ft. of water from the boat launch to Cedar Island. Fishing shallow at 80’ try the typical dodger or flasher combo with the houchies in a glow white. Also try the Brad’s Super Bait behind a flasher.

If you want to try and target the bigger fish, try 120-190’ of water with big flatfish on the bottom. Remember, fish these flatfish at 1 mph or less as these big fish will not chase a lure very fast.

We put 11 fish in the boat yesterday morning in 3 hours. Nice size fish, 3-6lbs. perfect for eating.

The water temperature is 38 degrees, be careful and stay warm. If the wind comes up play it safe and get off the lake.

Maintenance

Just a reminder, winter is the time to do all your maintenance so you are ready to go in the spring.  Winterize that boat, change the oil and the lower unit oil. Take your electronics out of the boat and store inside the house. Any LCD (liquid crystals) should not be left out in the cold. I always change my fishing line and start with new line every spring. Organize your lures and tie up some new leaders,  build up your inventory of hooks, snaps and swivels.

For those of you that don’t know, I am the ASC (authorized service center) for Cannon downriggers in our area. Now is a good time to have those downriggers repaired, serviced before the season starts,  before we all are very busy.  Things to check on your downrigger would be the axle on the front roller, the cable, and cord. If you have any trouble with the switch going up or down it should be replaced. The clutch disc should be cleaned and lubed. Clean the electric board and reseal the case cover.  Check your electric power cords, sometimes they get weather checked and start to crack. If you see any cracks in the cord, replace it. Cannon has changed the cord style on all their downriggers to the new style. It is a better cord and connection, but all the old cords will have to be replaced with the new style. There are no old style cords available.  Remember a little maintenance in the off season could save extended down time in the summer.